Penn State Intercom......March 20, 2003

5 earn Faculty Scholar Medals for outstanding research work

Five professors will receive 2002-2003 Faculty Scholar Medals for Outstanding Achievement.

James N. Wines, professor of architecture, will receive the Arts and Humanities Medal; Long-Qing Chen, professor of materials science and engineering, will receive the Engineering Medal; Andrew G. Stephenson, professor of biology, will receive the Life and Health Sciences Medal; Ayusman Sen, professor of chemistry, will receive the Physical Sciences Medal, and Leann L. Birch, professor of human development and family studies, will receive the Social and Behavioral Sciences Medal.

Established in 1980, the award recognizes scholarly or creative excellence represented by a single contribution or a series of contributions around a coherent theme. A committee of faculty peers reviews nominations and selects candidates.

Wines receives his medal for his unique point of view on sustainability -- a fusion of art and technology -- that has had a major impact on architecture. He has earned international acclaim for his philosophical and artistic approach to architecture and ecology and human and natural resources. With the recent publication of his book, Green Architecture, Wines reaffirms his position as a leading international expert on the impact of architecture on the environment and on the ethical and social responsibilities of the architectural profession. His recent proposals for the rebuilding of Ground Zero at the World Trade Center Site -- with an emphasis on beauty, simplicity and environmentally-sound design -- take into account the need for streetscape design and include a program that reunites the four neighborhoods surrounding the Twin Towers.

Wines joined the University's faculty in 1999 as head of the department of architecture following a long career as an architect. He is the president and founder of the architecture and environmental arts design firm, SITE, chartered in 1970 to explore socially and environmentally responsive approaches to the design of buildings, interiors, public spaces and manufactured products. SITE buildings and interiors have been given 21 major design awards including the 1995 Chrysler Award for Design Innovation.

Chen is recognized for his contributions to the field of computational materials science. His international reputation is based on his work in computational modeling of the evolution of structurally non-uniform materials. He uses complex computational models as a tool to predict the influence of a variety of processing variables for such things as thinfilm microstructures, metal alloy design and the domain structures and properties of ferroic materials.

He joined the University in 1992 and became professor in 2002. From 1995 to 1998 he was an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator. In 1999 he received a National Science Foundation Special Research Creativity Award and in 2000 he received the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Wilson Award for Excellence in Research. Chen received his bachelor of science in 1982 from the Zhejiang University, his master of science in 1985 from State University of New York at Stony Brook and his doctoral degree in 1990 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology all in Materials Science and Engineering.

Stephenson is recognized for his seminal and groundbreaking discoveries in the evolutionary biology of plants. His contributions to the understanding of Darwin's theories on sexual selection and the evolution of mating systems are internationally recognized and his work also affects broad areas of plant biology, including plant physiology and breeding. He has demonstrated that, regardless of the haphazard nature of pollen deposition, plants can exercise a great deal of control over which of the deposited pollen grains actually fertilize the ovules, which of the immature seeds mature and which abort during development and which immature fruits mature and which are aborted.

Joining the University in 1978, he was named professor in 1986. He received the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1992, Faculty Associates Award for Outstanding Involvement in Undergraduate Research in 1997 and was named Most Highly Cited Researcher (Ecology) by Current Contents ISI in 2002.

Sen receives his award for his use of novel organometallic catalytic processes in inexpensive and efficient methods to produce chemicals and polymers of potential use in such diverse areas as health care and photolithography. He also has discovered catalytic processes to cleanse water of toxic organic chemicals and recycle plastics into useful compounds. He addresses tough, unsolved problems of intense current interest and enormous technical importance and his work has resulted in 18 patents and more than 170 publications.

He joined the University in 1979 and became professor in 1989. In 1982-1984 he received the Young Investigator Award from Chevron Research Co., in 1984-1988 he was an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and in 1987 he received a Paul J. Flory Sabbatical Award from IBM. He received a bachelor of science from the University of Calcutta in 1970, a master of science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and a doctoral degree from the University of Chicago in 1978.

Birch is recognized as a leading world authority on the psychologicaldevelopment of children. During the past five years, Birch instituted a unique, longitudinal study of the relationship between parenting practices, eating behavior and obesity in young girls. This ongoing project has had a major impact in the areas of development, nutrition and medicine and has influenced public policy at the national level.

In 1992, Birch joined the University as head of the department of human development and family studies, professor of human development and family studies and professor, graduate program in nutrition. In 1992 she received the Lederle Award in Human Nutrition from the American Institute of Nutrition, in 1995 she received the G. Malcolm Trout Scholar Award from Michigan State University and in 2000 she received the Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Research Career Award form the College of Health and Human Development.